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The Gifts that keep Jammin'

I haven’t been on for a while but that doesn't mean that I can't keep up with you here. While the Man of Action has been away I have been busy. Talking to some of you, doing research, jello wrestling and getting ready with some new shows. But I thought I would pass along some advice seeing that some of you wanted to know what music to start buying for yourself or friends'

OK so you're digging the sounds of The Rent Party and you want to listen to some more great sounds or pass them  on to friends without scaring them away from your new musical bliss with the 'hardcore stuff , you want to be cool without being nerdy. Just for you I'm going to give you some album-oops I mean CD titles and artists so you can groove away.

Let's start with the ladies;

  • ·         "The Ultimate Marvelettes" CD is a great look into a group that Motown kind of ignored after they had so many early hits for them. The Marvelettes were blessed with two great lead singers who just jam on every tune. The CD takes you through the early material, which has a Chantel’s like sound to the late 60's where they had a real soulful sound with the Motown arrangements to match. If you like the CD I suggest you find the Box set, which has even more great stuff.
  • ·         The Velvelette's Anthology is next on the list. This group of ladies was forgotten altogether sans a couple of specials. I believe their two known hits are “He's Really Saying Something" & "A Needle in a Haystack” but I'm telling you they are more than that. You'll hear those songs and more, plus some unreleased material as well. You'll find yourself dancing and singing along with this CD just as much as the Marvelettes CD. With these two CDs you'll start to look at Motown a little differently.
  • ·         Memphis Minnie is one of the greatest blues singers you might not have heard of this High Priestess of the blues recorded between the 30's and 40's and she could jam with the best of them. Big Bill Broonzy and many other Blues masters witnessed this goddess do her thing. Find any of her CDs and just listen to her jamming with her husband on many funky tunes like "Me and my Chauffer Blues". You can't go wrong with Memphis Minnie'

How about the gentlemen;

  • ·         On the group harmony front have some fun with The Cadillacs; there are several CDs & albums to choose from, from this venerable group' Speedo Carroll has passed on a few days ago but his legacy with this incredible group is always worth listening to. Great ballads and even greater house rocking tunes makes them a fabulous introduction into group harmony sounds.
  • ·         Another fun CD to jam with is from Motown. "Meet the Temptations" is a great first album by the Motown icons. The album is made up of several of the group’s first singles. It features the original five and David Ruffin-sorry Ruffin is not an original but he is featured on two of the songs ("The Way you Do, The Things You Do" is his first recording with the group). Fun songs and some early hits by the Temps. Also this album features the highly underrated Paul Williams on the lead on several of the songs. Most djs will tell you it's Ruffin but they're wrong it's Williams before he goes to the background.
  • ·         For blues fans seek and find Sonny Boy Williamson (the second one), Real Folks Blues". Sonny Boy is one of the baddest harmonica players ever and this album or CD is a blast! you'll sing along and laugh (he’s a great story teller) and you'll jam the whole way through especially since he has an all-star band backing him up.
  • ·         For fans of great music from Cuba might I suggest Orquestra Aragon’s CD “That Cuban Cha Cha Cha". Groove to the jams that Fidel and Che might have danced along to. Aragon is one of the premiere Cuban bands of all time. They're still around and jamming just as hard.

I hope you like these suggestions. If you get the music please let me know how you like it or not. I could have suggested much more for you but why bore you. Now guess what Capt. Al might get for the holiday?

Well I have to go and prepare for the Ultimate R&B Oldies show, so sit back and relax because the Man of Action will be back soon.

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